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Dangers and the Litany.

Dangers and the Litany.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY CHARLES KINGSLEY


*' Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them
oat of their distreBses. And he led them forth by the right way,
that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would
praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to
the children of men." — ^Psalm cvii 6-8.
BY CHARLES KINGSLEY


*' Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them
oat of their distreBses. And he led them forth by the right way,
that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would
praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to
the children of men." — ^Psalm cvii 6-8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 30, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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DAGERS AD THE LITAY. BY CHARLES KIGSLEY*' Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them oat of their distreBses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men." — ^Psalm cvii 6-8. This 10 7th Psahn is a noble psalm — a psalm which has given comfort to thousands in suffering and in dan- ger, even in the sorrows which they have brought on themselves by their own folly. For it tells them of a Eiord who hears them when they cry to Him in their trouble, and who delivers them from their distress. It was written on a special occasion, as all the most important words of the Bible are written — ^written seemingly, after some band of Jews struggling across the desert, on their return from the captivity in Babylon, had been in great danger of death. They went astray in the wilderness out of their way, and found no city to rest in ; hungry and thirsty their soul fainted in them, so they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to the city where they dwelt That was the plain fact, on which the psalmist built up this noble psalm. In the blazing sandy desert, without wa»t^x,lQR>^><st shade, they had lost their pat\\, audi ^et^ ^\^^^x -^c^'*^ 78 Dangers — nmd the Litany. end. And they cried unto the Lord their God for guid- ance^ for they could not guide themselves. And the
 
Lord answered their prayer and guided them. We do not read that God worked a miracle for them^ or sent an angel to lead them. Simply^ somehow or other, they found their way after all, and got safe out of the d^sert ; and they believed that it was God who enabled them to find their way. and praised the Lord for Hia goodness ; and for His goodness not only to them, but to the children of men — ^to all men who had the sense to call on Him in trouble, and to put themselves in their right place as men — God's children, calling for help to their Father in heaven. Therefore the psalmist goes on to speak of the cases of God's goodness, which he seems to have seen, or at least heard of. Of wretched prisoners, bound fast in misery and iron, and that through their own fault and folly, who had cried xmto the Lord in their trouble, and been delivered by Him from the darkness of the dun- geon. Of foolish men who had ruined their health, or at least their prospects in life, by their own sin and folly, till their soul abhorred all manner of meat, and they were hard at death's door. But of them, too, he says, when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble. He delivered them from their distress. He sent His word — what we now foolishly call the laws of ature, but which the Psalmist knew to be the ever-working power and providence of God — ^and healed them, and they were saved from their destruction. Then he goes on to speak of the dangers of the sea which were especially strange and terrible to him — a Jew. For the Jews were no sailors ; and if they went to eea, would go as merchantB, or supercargoes in shipB Dangers — and the Litany. 79
 
manned by heathens ; and the danger was really great. The ships were clumsy ; navigation was ill-understood ; the storms of the Mediterranean sea were then as now, sudden and furious; and when one came on, the heathen sailors would, I doubt not, be at their wit's end, their courage melting away because of the trouble, and call on all their gods and idols to help them ; but the men of whom the Psalmist speaks, though they were no sea- men, knew on whom to call It was by the word of the Lord that the stormy wind arose which lifted up the billows. He could quell the storm if He would, and when He would ; and to Him they cried and not in vain. "And He made the storm to cease " so that the waves thereof were stilL Then were they glad, because they were at rest, and so He brought them to the haven where they would be." My friends, this was the simple faith of the oW Jews. And this was the simple faith of our fore- fathers by land and sea. And this faith, as I believe, made England great. The faith that there was a living God, a living Lord, who would hear the cry of poor creatures in their trouble, even when they had brought their trouble on themselves. Our fore- fathers were not mere landsmen like the Jews, but the finest seamen the world has ever seen. And yet they were not ashamed in storm and danger to cry like the Jews unto the Lord, that He might make the storm to cease, and bring them to the haven where they would be. Yes ! faith in God did not make them the less brave, skilful, cautious, scientific ; and it need not make us so. Skill and science need not take away our faith in Gk)d. I trust it will not taka ^^ away, and I believe it will not tak^ M ^\n«:5^ ii»»^<2fw|,^!^ 8o Dangers — and the Litany.

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